Suicide in U.S. Women Veterans: An Interpersonal Theory Perspective on Suicide Prevention Policies

Donna L. Schuman, Julie Cerel, Regina T. Praetorius

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Increases in suicide rates for U.S. women Service Members and Veterans have emerged as a public health issue of great concern. Women Veterans are more likely than their civilian counterparts to die by suicide, and rates of suicide for women Veterans are rising faster than rates for male Veterans. Given higher rates of suicide in combat-exposed males and increased rates of suicide associated with military deployment for women, the expansion of women into direct combat roles may further escalate their rates of suicide. The interpersonal theory of suicide provides a framework for the examination of women Veterans’ risk factors and how implementation of policy provisions can more effectively ameliorate suicide risk. Recent suicide prevention policy initiatives that target women Veterans’ unique needs are important steps; however, suicide prevention efforts should address specific risk factors contributing to thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and the acquired capability for suicide in Veteran women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-429
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Work in Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Interpersonal theory
  • Veterans
  • policy
  • suicide
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Suicide in U.S. Women Veterans: An Interpersonal Theory Perspective on Suicide Prevention Policies'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this